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Topic: Alternate IDEs? or how to get more from the standard IDE ? (Read 3 times) previous topic - next topic


The only thing it really excels is that it works out of the box.

An attribute not to be discounted for the hoards of new people entering the Arduino world, many with little programming experience. I don't doubt that there are higher quality more powerful editor/IDE platforms out there but in over three years at this site I haven't seen a IDE upgrade solution yet that is a load and go type installation that the vast majority of arduino users would be able to perform on their own. Possibly the challenge is the cross platform nature of the arduino platform where any real IDE upgrade needs to have three different installation procedures/instructions to be able to support Win/Mac/Linux.

Like CrossRoads I come from a hardware backround, so I look/need software that is simple to install as well as to learn to use.



I haven't seen a IDE upgrade solution yet that is a load and go type installation

That new VS2010/2008 port looks like it will be close, certainly it loaded easily for me. You don't get the examples from a drop down list though (I think) and it's possibly a bit overwhelming for an absolute beginner I admit.

Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com


I think "Alternate IDEs? or how to get more from the standard IDE ?" is a good question.
Like most people here I feel the IDE is great to get started. I'm coming from a software developers world and I would not have become a Arduino fan without the IDE.
The greatness of the IDE to get started also limits the IDE when you are doing library development or have 10+ files in your project. Therefore I also looked at alternatives.
"Alternate IDE's?" Coming from a windows world I only know "kind of" 2 alternatives. I know visual studio and I know Eclipse. Talking about these tools without the plugin for Arduino. In my mind visual studio beats eclipse by far. But they both beat the Arduino IDE from a developers point of view by far.
From a financial point of view Eclipse is free. The visual studio express is also free but does not allow plugins. Visual studio professional is not free (today 999Euro in Belgium  :smiley-mr-green:)
As I can buy plenty of arduino's for that money I looked into the eclipse possibilities.
I find the eclipse + "avr eclipse" solution -described in the playground- extremely powerful but also to complex. The main problem is that there are so many options that you don't know which are important nor how to set them.
So I decided to write a plugin on top of avr eclipse to set Arduino settings to make it easier to get started. I released a version some time ago. If you are interested please read this article on usage and installation http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,70547.msg589022.html#msg589022/ it is 100% free and the source is available like Arduino.

Best regards
Do not PM me a question unless you are prepared to pay for consultancy.
Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -

Udo Klein

I am also from the software world and I appreciate a lot that the standard IDE works out of the box. This actually was the single most important point to get me started. However I see no point in sticking to beginner's tools once you move on to advanced. I also evaluated different IDEs. Visual studio is no option for me because I use Linux at home. Eclipse seems also like overkill to me. So I just started to switch to Kate (plus scons, plus ISP plus some trivial python monitoring script). Since Kate allows immediate command line access version control is also no issue. This setup is not tied to any specific editor and beats Arduino IDE by far. It also gives much better control of the compiler. Turnaround for compile + deploy is 2-40s less than compared Arduino IDE (depending on project size). Since then I figured that I am satisfied and feel no need to push this to Eclipse. I figure that Emacs wizards would opt for Emacs and VI advocates for VI though ;)
Check out my experiments http://blog.blinkenlight.net



The Arduino IDE is indeed great for quick sketches and learning. It is definitely one of the reasons why Arduino is so popular.

For more advanced users, who work with a lot of home-made libraries and do bigger projects, the Arduino IDE might be a bit limited. Especially if you are used to work with something like XCode, you get used to code completion and all the other nice features.

It seems there are two types of users: the beginners and quick sketchers who don't need to have many files open or code completion, and the more practiced users who are used to write C++ with header files etc... who want to use a more feature rich IDE.

Because of this me and some other people have been making XCode project templates for developing for Arduino with XCode on Mac OSX. Rey Vilo seems to be working on XCode4 support here: https://github.com/rei-vilo/Xcode-for-MPIDE-Arduino
and mine (only XCode 3.2) is here: https://github.com/timknapen/Arduino-With-XCode
Also there is this nice page: http://www.quietless.com/kitchen/setting-up-xcode-to-compile-upload-to-an-arduino-atmega328-duemilanove/

I am not a makefile specialist, so anyone who knows a bit about that kind of stuff is very welcome to suggest changes to make it more flexible and easier to use (especially the including of libraries and switching between UNO/Duemillanove/... )


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